Definition of leisure in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Time when one is not working or occupied; free time.

    ‘people with too much enforced leisure’
    • ‘I've had a few moments of leisure to consider the response to it, and what it all means.’
    • ‘Little did he realize the magnitude of the issue which he raised, and that it would occupy his leisure for nearly twenty years.’
    • ‘Wintertime, on the other hand, was a period of rest and leisure for the rural population.’
    • ‘But they would remain etched forever in the minds of those who enjoyed leisure in their days of yore.’
    • ‘It is unfair to expect them to have their leisure and sleep hours interrupted.’
    • ‘British painting enjoyed a boom in the early nineteenth century, in response to growing middle-class prosperity and leisure.’
    • ‘I have another day of leisure tomorrow, then a quiet weekend.’
    • ‘But how many of us actually have the choice of having eight hours sleep and eight hours leisure to ourselves per day?’
    • ‘Rather than giving up work at the age of 65, they will ‘cycle’ between periods of work and leisure well into their golden years.’
    • ‘Intelligent soldiers never waste the long periods of leisure that characterize peacetime service.’
    • ‘You decide to defer the benefits for a few more years before you enjoy your years of leisure on the golf course.’
    • ‘Different people place different values on luxury, location, timeliness, leisure, and security.’
    • ‘I don't buy the idea that the pre-industrial period was a golden age of self-determination and leisure for the vast majority of the British.’
    • ‘A pension was meant to pay for a brief period of leisure following a long working life.’
    • ‘It's lovely to wake up on a Saturday morning with the prospect of three days of leisure ahead of you.’
    • ‘Nevertheless today is a day of leisure and I am going for a lunch with a friend.’
    • ‘This marks day one of a bright new future for leisure across the borough.’
    • ‘Handy does not predict, as people did in the 1970s, an enlightened age of leisure.’
    • ‘And now for Federer, who will be all the more formidable for his day of leisure yesterday.’
    • ‘Contrary to the old predictions that new technology would usher in an age of leisure, they are working harder than ever.’
    free time, spare time, spare moments, time to spare, idle hours, time off, freedom, holiday, breathing space, breathing spell, respite, relief, ease, peace, quiet
    recreation, relaxation, inactivity, amusement, entertainment, pleasure, diversion, distraction, fun, games, fun and games
    time to kill, r and r
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Use of free time for enjoyment.
      ‘increased opportunities for leisure’
      [as modifier] ‘leisure activities’
      • ‘Recreational and leisure activities used to be two separate entities.’
      • ‘Making room for relaxation and enjoyment of leisure activities is vital for all of us.’
      • ‘They are used for river patrols and leisure activities.’
      • ‘Well-paid jobs and thriving firms mean there is more money to be spent locally in the shops, in the area's cafes and restaurants, on leisure activities.’
      • ‘Sport and leisure activities are the main focus today.’
      • ‘Outside the job there's little time for leisure activities, but Marurai maintains a passion for reading.’
      • ‘Not a Day Goes By seems especially targeted toward black women looking for an entertaining leisure read.’
      • ‘But a lack of facilities in their local areas was identified as the main reason young people did not take part in sports and leisure activities.’
      • ‘Campaigning youngsters are demanding more leisure activities and increased police patrols in the borough to clamp down on rowdy youths.’
      • ‘Friesen, 65, said Tuesday it seemed like the right time to retire and spend more time on leisure activities as well as some charity work.’
      • ‘He volunteered much of his own time and effort to the provision of recreation and leisure opportunities for the aged and disabled in our community.’
      • ‘But they share a commitment to communal living, group and individual therapy, and shared domestic and leisure activities.’
      • ‘Attitudes towards leisure activities also reflected the strength of the family unit - although this varied according to demographics.’
      • ‘Ian Templeton, the headmaster of Glenalmond College in Perthshire said the access to leisure facilities and activities at many schools was hard to put a price on.’
      • ‘Navigation classes aimed at the leisure boating sector are commencing in October in the Sailing Club in Dunmore East.’
      • ‘I take enjoyment and satisfaction from my work, my family and leisure activities.’
      • ‘In addition, we typically devote one class per week to recreation and leisure activities.’
      • ‘The findings show a clear preference for undertaking leisure activities outdoors and in the countryside as part of a healthy lifestyle.’
      • ‘Sir Henry Royce belittled leisure activities such as golf and tennis.’
      • ‘She said that instead of looking to build a new leisure pool the money could better spent on a larger facility.’
      free time, spare time, spare moments, time to spare, idle hours, time off, freedom, holiday, breathing space, breathing spell, respite, relief, ease, peace, quiet
      recreation, relaxation, inactivity, amusement, entertainment, pleasure, diversion, distraction, fun, games, fun and games
      time to kill, r and r
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Opportunity afforded by free time to do something.
      ‘writers with enough leisure to practise their art’
      • ‘For a few days he would have the leisure for tasks such as gathering food and organizing, before another round of observations began.’
      • ‘It is not often I have the leisure to idle my time away here.’
      • ‘We have to remind ourselves that we may not have the leisure to do this later.’
      • ‘Recycling materials for use later was one of those issues taken up by people who had the leisure to think about such matters.’
      • ‘What ever the case, astronauts will not have the leisure to admire the view, 400 km above the Earth.’
      • ‘But only they had the leisure and resources to shoulder such duties.’
      • ‘Now in her senior year she had the leisure to take it easy.’
      • ‘Many of us live in a forgiving environment where people have the leisure to explore ways of changing their very selves, at the physical, social and spiritual levels.’


  • at leisure

    • 1Not occupied; free.

      ‘the rest of the day can be spent at leisure’
      • ‘Day three can be spent at leisure.’
      unoccupied, not at work, not working, not busy, not tied up, between appointments, off duty, off work, off, on holiday, on leave
      View synonyms
    • 2In an unhurried manner.

      ‘the poems were left for others to read at leisure’
      • ‘The beautiful setting commands a panoramic view of Dungarvan Bay with Cruachán behind and there will be refreshments available which can be taken at leisure in most pleasant surroundings.’
      • ‘Whether as a bedtime story, or as a novel to read at leisure, its pages will enthral any reader with a taste for adventure.’
      • ‘Its camera can be used to photograph diagrams on the board, its recording feature can be utilised by students to record teachers' lectures and review them at leisure.’
      • ‘I wrote it mainly to make sure that the basic idea is recorded somewhere so that later when I sit to rewrite it at leisure, I will have a little more than just the basic idea in mind.’
      • ‘For one thing, you have the time and opportunity to read it and think about it in total freedom and at leisure.’
      • ‘Delicious breads, oils, cheeses, dips, local and organic produce will be on offer - everyone is invited to come along and browse through the fair at leisure.’
      • ‘Said a shocked Mr Gupta: ‘The burglars had a good time in our house and must have worked at leisure.’’
      • ‘I intend to go through it at leisure, like you do an Archie comic.’
      • ‘Not least of these is the opportunity to cruise at leisure for miles and miles, reading a book on deck, taking charge at the helm or lazily watching the passing countryside.’
      • ‘The messages, which I could read at leisure, were mostly short but sweet, and comforting words were used that are not always easy to say face to face.’
  • at one's leisure

    • At one's convenience.

      ‘wander at your leisure through the wide selection of shops’
      • ‘While many seasoned walkers did the ten mile trek many others did the shorter 3 mile walk enjoying the scenery at their leisure.’
      • ‘The site looks promising and we ask you to give it a try at your leisure.’
      • ‘Those who love to take a stroll can do so at their leisure in the city's famous Botanical Garden, which celebrates its 150th anniversary next month.’
      • ‘My methodology is extremely crude; I'm sure others can pick holes in it at their leisure.’
      • ‘This enabled people to wander through at their leisure and view the school as a whole.’
      • ‘Buying something online is fun because you can browse and pick and choose at your leisure, then have it delivered to your door.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, you can stop or start a comic book at your leisure.’
      • ‘The island offers a treasure trove of beautiful ancient temples, stunning scenery and golden windswept beaches for discovery at your leisure.’
      • ‘You meanwhile can stagger home at your leisure.’
      • ‘But it seems to be the ideal country to tour at your leisure.’
      at your convenience, when it suits you, in your own time, in your own good time, when you can fit it in, without need for haste, without haste, unhurriedly, without hurry, when you get round to it, when you want to
      in due course
      View synonyms
  • lady (or man or gentleman) of leisure

    • A person who does not need to earn a living.

      • ‘This move, however, had only increased their resentment of her, as they saw it as an attempt to act the part of the charitable lady of leisure.’
      • ‘We are not, in this day and age a place for the polishing of young men of leisure into gentlemanly ways.’
      • ‘The drag queen in this film is no lady of leisure.’
      • ‘The rest of the time, players appear to be gentlemen of leisure.’
      • ‘On the other hand, I think I'd be a really good lady of leisure.’
      • ‘Yes, he was a busy man with his hardware business and now he's a busy man of leisure.’
      • ‘Mr Tung is a wealthy gentleman of leisure with a very large townhouse.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the reality of gentry-class women's lives often failed to conform to the image of the lady of leisure.’
      • ‘But although that is now on hold, she has no plans of becoming a lady of leisure.’
      • ‘They are men of leisure, going on a voyage down the Thames River from Kingston to Oxford.’


Middle English: from Old French leisir, based on Latin licere be allowed.